Migrants set fire to camps on Greek holiday island of Lesbos then ‘blocked emergency services from reaching blaze’
RIOTING migrants set fire to a camp on a picturesque Greek holiday island after being told they were being deported.
Trouble flared just as EU chiefs gave the greenlight to more than £5 million in funds for the affected camp at Lesbos and another on Chios.
Pictures from the scene shows clouds of black smoke billowing up from the Moria reception centre on Lesbos as fire trucks raced to put out the blaze.
Two large tents were burnt to the ground and several shipping containers used as temporary accommodation were also damaged.
Police called to the incident were hit with stones and retaliated with tear gas to bring the situation under control.
One post on Facebook from a migrant at the centre said the riot started after a visit from the local mayor who was made aware of the conditions in the camp.
The Iranian asylum seeker said the migrants had complained about substandard living conditions several times but they had been ignored.
Officials said the riot started after those at the camp were told they would be deported to Turkey.
A spokesman for Lesbos mayor’s office said migrants were blocking the road and preventing fire trucks reaching the inferno.
Around 14,000 migrants are thought to be in the camps in Lesbos and Chios waiting to be processed and either allowed into Greece or sent back to Turkey.
One migrant said: "It is like a war zone in there. It all started when some were told they were being sent back to Turkey where they had come from and they set fire to rubbish and threw stones at the police."